February Notebook: Lehoux
Every season, scouts from Future Considerations spend countless hours gathering information on the next wave of NHL talent coming down the pipe. Future Considerations Quebec-based scout Andy Lehoux is no different.
Here is Lehoux’s notebook for February.
Jakob Pelletier, LW, Moncton Wildcats, 5-9, 161, DOB 3-7-01
Pelletier is a speedy and skilled playmaker. He possesses a great speed and agility that allows him to fly up the ice and create multiple control zone exits and entries. He has some quick feet that make him agile and unpredictable. He loves to enter the offensive zone with speed to push the defence back a bit, and immediately pass to an open teammate behind to get his team well establish in the zone. Although undersized, Pelletier loves to drive to the net with or without the puck. You’ll most often see him score on rebounds because of that. He has some great finishing skills and his wrist shot is precise, but it lacks a bit of power which makes him harmless from far away. He owns a great vision, awareness of his teammates positioning and creativity. He’s certainly a pass-first player as he prefers to set up a teammate or simply open the play before finishing the job by himself. The Quebec-born winger possesses some quick mitts which helps him get out of tough situations in corners or traffic. He’s competitive and puts intensity in every of his shifts. Pelletier might be 5-foot-9, but he is far from lacking any kind of strength. He can throw big hits, win board battle and protect his puck like everyone else. He is showcasing a great upside and work ethic every game that makes me believe he has a good chance of becoming a good top-six player. Contrary to other undersized forwards, Pelletier still possesses a high likelihood of getting to the NHL as he got a complete game and can play in all situations.
Jordan Spence, D, Moncton, 5-10, 165, DOB 2-24-01
Spence is a complete puck-moving two-way defenseman. His skating is simply incredible. With his quick feet, he has a good top speed and an excellent acceleration. His edge work is amazing and his turns are quick and effortless. Great transitions from forward to backward skating with the puck, which gives more time and space to make the right pass. He just moves around the ice so well. He always has his head up to find a passing lane and check every option. He can start the breakout with an accurate pass or move the puck up the ice by himself. Spence creates so many control zone entries with his combination of great skating, vision and decision making. He stays poised in all situations and his confidence with the puck is at an all-time high lately. Spence is all what you want from a defenseman these days — great skater, excellent playmaker, defends well, moves the puck up the ice with ease and stay calm in all situations. Unselected in the 2017 QMJHL Draft, the undersized defenseman has been on a constant progression even since. Great potential and he seems to be developing quickly.
Justin Bergeron, D, Rouyn-Noranda, 6-1, 181, DOB 9-14-00
Undrafted last year, Bergeron has come back as an overager this season better than ever. He has been the second best defenseman on the powerhouse that is the Rouyn-Noranda Huskies, behind only by Noah Dobson. Bergeron is a complete two-way defenseman. He defends well against rushes, always playing the body and never biting on quick dangles. It doesn’t matter how fast or strong a forward is, Bergeron never lets someone cut to the net. He will simply push them until they pin themselves in the corner. He showcased a good strength and a great gap control defending rushes. He sees plays developing well and loves to join the rush. He can start the attack by himself or with a precise breakout pass. He loves moving around the offensive zone to adapt to the play and be in the most dangerous position possible. Good wrist shot, vision and hockey IQ too. To summarize, just a very complete player. Bergeron might be an overager, but he is showcasing a great potential, especially considering he is only a few hours older than some other draft eligibles.